CONGRATULATIONS! You are probably reading this because you are thinking that it might be ready for your child to learn to walk! It’s not easy to imagine your precious child walking (and getting into all sorts of trouble!) but the fact that you are reading this indicates that you are ready. Right?
But Is Your Child Ready to Walk?
Your child will start showing signs that he or she is ready to walk when he or she starts pulling themselves up on things.
Most babies would have taken their first tentative steps by their first birthday but the age range for a child to walk can vary from 9 months to 18 months!
But before you start encouraging your child to walk, does your child already know how to crawl? If not, you will want to read our blog post on the importance of crawling and the steps you can take to help your child to do so.
Also, make sure that your house is now childproof! It never hurts to educate yourself on ways to make your home safer for your child.
We also advise you to supervise your child when he or she first starts learning to walk with the push walker. Not only do you have to watch out for bump hazards, but some of the walkers (especially the plastic ones) are also very light. This means that if your child uses it to pull himself or herself up on it, it could topple backward.
However, rest assured. Once our child’s legs were stronger and she could stand up and sit down by bending her legs, she didn’t need to exert as much weight on the handlebar and the topple risk disappeared.
Another reason to supervise your child with the walker is that in the beginning, your child may push the walker very hard forward. If the walker doesn’t have sufficient wheel resistance, this makes the walker roll forward too fast for their little legs to catch up with and they can end up belly down on the floor. So you may have to provide some gentle opposing pressure on the walker so that your child can get used to the walker and gain some control before you let your child loose on it.
What Features Does a Great Push Walker Have?
There are many push walkers out on the market. Here are some features that you should think about:
- Stability- the design and width of the push toy.
- Weight- the heavier, the safer it is as it won’t tip over easily. (But also the more annoying to carry around if you intend to move it around the house a lot).
- Wheel resistance to meet the different kinds of floors you may have in your house including hardwood or carpet.
- Material- your child will most likely also be in a teething phase at the same time. Is the push walker safe for your child to gnaw on?
- Versatility- can the walking toy double up as a toy, does it play music, does it encourage other types of skills?
- Entertainment value- is this toy interesting enough that your child will want to use or play with it besides just using it to learn to walk?
Not A Baby Walker!
Should you get a baby walker? NO.
The names may be very similar but do NOT buy your child a baby walker or infant walker. A baby walker is not the same thing as a push cart. The American Academy of Pediatrics have reported many cases of baby walkers causing injury to children but more importantly, many experts are saying that the baby walker does not actually help but hinders your child from learning to walk!
So don’t make the mistake of buying a baby walker!
Recommended Push Walkers
But DO buy a push walker! It does help your baby to learn to walk, among other things.
We came across 16 different and popular walkers while doing this research and decided to analyze them all for you here. We list our recommended walkers as well as provide reasons for those that did not make it into our recommendation list. Finally, we gave you our top picks.
Here are our 8 recommended push walkers.
|Stability||Wheel Resistance||Material||Entertainment value|
|VTech Push Walker||8/10||8/10||8/10||10/10|
|Melissa & Doug Push Walker||9/10||7/10||10/10||7/10|
|Labebe Baby Push Walker||9/10||7/10||10/10||9/10|
|Hape Wonder Toddler Walking Toy||9/10||7/10||10/10||8/10|
|Radio Flyer Walker Wagon||10/10||9/10||10/10||8/10|
|HABA Walk Along Tool Cart||10/10||10/10||10/10||10/10|
|Bright Starts Giggling Walker||8/10||7/10||7/10||10/10|
|Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Bounce, Ride Elephant||8/10||7/10||7/10||9/10|
Best Baby Push Walker List
- VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
This VTech walker is super value for money as you can use it as a toy for your baby even before he or she starts learning to walk. The panel on the front of the walker is removable and plays music, animal sounds, has piano keys and flashing lights. Our little baby loved playing with it during tummy time even before she could sit up properly! It is definitely a fun toy and even has a pretend phone.
Once your baby can sit up, she can continue to play with the panel while sitting up on her own. And of course, once your baby is ready to start learning to walk, you can use this toy. It has been designed to be used on both smooth floors (such as hardwood and tile) and carpeted floors. You have the choice of adding a bit more resistance to the wheels although there is only one adjustment that you can make.
The VTech Sit-to-Stand Walker is made of plastic and is generally not designed for children to suck, mouth or chew on. However, according to the company, the product is BPA-free and is compliant with global phthalates and lead requirements. It also does not contain latex, natural rubber or flame retardants. However, the company states that it is unaware of any study or evidence that PVC in products poses a health risk to children.
In terms of stability, this only weighs about 5 pounds which means that if your child uses it to pull himself or herself up on it, it could topple backward.
- Melissa & Doug Rattle Rumble Wooden Push Toy and Activity Walker
We like this Melissa Walker because of its sturdiness and safety factor. It weighs 9 pounds which makes it a lot heavier than many other push carts. This helps when your baby is first starting to pull himself or herself up on it. It also well-designed in that it does not have any sharp edges in case your baby falls down while trying to get up on this.
It has transparent cylinders with colorful shapes inside it that move when the walker is pushed. So this toy is loud when used. You may hate this if you like peace and quiet (which will be difficult to achieve with a young child anyway!) but the sound can be useful if you are trying to keep track of where your child wanders off to.
It is made of mostly wood and some lead-free plastic. It can be used on hardwood or carpeted floors although you cannot vary the resistance in the wheels.
In summary, simple but safe. We like it.
- Labebe Baby Push & Pull Learning Walker
We like the Labebe Walker because it is made of beautiful wood, safe and meets both US and European safety standards for paint.
We especially like the clever topple-reduction design of the two little knobs at the bottom of the walker where the handle bar is. We think this is especially important when kids start pulling themselves up on it. It is not especially heavy but since the push walker is designed to act as a cart, you can add heavier objects into the cart (such as books) if you have a heavier or stronger child. The wheels are also wrapped with a strip of rubber to protect your wooden floors and create some friction.
It also comes with simple wooden blocks that are great for building imagination and creativity. Your child can use these blocks from tummy time onwards till a few years old because children love building with blocks!
One thing to be aware of is that this walker is slightly shorter and lighter than other similar wooden walkers. If you have a tall child, we would not recommend this walker. Instead, you may be better off with one of the other walkers listed here. However, it has so many pros that it is in our recommended list.
- Hape Wonder Walker Push and Pull Toddler Walking Toy
Upon an initial look, the Hape Walker looks like most of the other wooden push along walkers. But upon closer examination, you will find that Hape has created a push toy that has some serious advantages over other wooden push walkers.
It is considerably taller, reaching 19.9 inches, which makes this walker suitable for taller babies or if your child wants to use it for longer. The wheel also is rubber rimmed to protect hardwood floors.
The wood also comes from sustainably sourced forests. The manufacturer states that the materials are child-safe including the paint which is non-toxic.
Like a few other walking toys, it is shaped like a cart so that your child can use it to carry things around. Or more importantly, you can add heavier things to the cart to make the push walker bear more weight. It also has cute beads, gears, cogwheels and guided-movement toys for your child to play with.
- Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon
When it comes to safety, we think that the Radio Walker Wagon has got this down really well. Not only is it much heavier than many other push walkers, at 13.4 pounds, it is by far the heaviest walker that we have reviewed. It is the only walker on our list that got a 10/10 for stability and weight.
Also, the manufacturers ingeniously created a “resist push” feature which makes it much easier for learning-to-walk-children to stay on it. The wheels are also covered in rubber to protect your hardwood floors.
However, the real reason why we love the Radio Walker Wagon is because of its classic, fiery color and design. It just squeals COOL at you. Like most other wooden push carts, you can use this walker to carry things around in and you can increase the weight and stability of the walker by adding heavier items into it. It is also considerably longer than other baby push carts.
There is one potential hazard which are the wooden rails on the sides of the walker. These are not constructed as well as the actual walker but they are removable if you don’t want to use them.
In terms of entertainment value, it is pretty basic and unlike most of the other walkers, it doesn’t have any bells or whistles (such as music or extra toys).
- HABA Walk Along Tool Cart
We discovered this gem of a push along walker by accident while reviewing other push carts. We think that this push toy gets overlooked a lot because of its price as it is probably the most expensive walker on our list here.
However, if price is not a concern for you, do give serious consideration to this push walker. Not only is it the tallest walker that we have found so far which makes it suitable for taller children, but your child can also use it for longer without having to bend down. It also has a decent weight of 10 pounds. On top of this, the resistance for the wheels is adjustable, which is not a common feature for most other walkers. Huge plus!
It has colorful handles, two balls that can be removed from the walker for separate play (children love playing with balls!) and has a small space to carry around things too.
It is designed by a German company, although the walker itself is made in China. The manufacturer states that it is a company that is socially and environmentally responsible.
One very nice unique thing about this push toy is the cute carpentry tools. It’s got a hammer, saw, wrench and screwdriver! All colorful and made of wood of course. We think that it’s important that children get to learn about actual daily life objects besides toys. But if you like toys, there is also a cute carpenter doll that hangs onto the walker.
- Bright Starts Giggling Gourmet Shop ‘n Cook Walker
All the plastic walkers that we came across generally have great entertainment value. However, the Bright Starts Walker blows them all away. This push along walker has not just one but several modes for play!
Firstly, it acts as a shopping cart that your little one can push around! Don’t we all remember how fun it is to copy our parents? It also has a removable cook top that your baby can play with while on tummy time. Or you can lock the wheels in place and use it as an activity table!
The walker comes with sizzling cooking sounds, a sandwich, a sunny side up egg roller and shape sorter too! More interestingly, when the cart is pushed, the popcorn pops up! This is meant to encourage your little one to keep pushing forward. Tons of ways to play with this walker- how about shopping games around the house or at the grocery store?
In terms of weight and safety, you can’t really compare it to wooden walkers as it is not as heavy and not as tall as some of the other wooden walkers on this list. This means that when your child is using this to learn to walk, you will need to supervise your child to ensure that the walker doesn’t tip backwards.
- Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Bounce, Stride and Ride Elephant
We like this Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Bounce Elephant because it’s one of the few walkers that your child can actually ride on without needing another person (such as yourself) to push him or her around on. A toy that allows your child to play independently is always a good toy in our opinion.
This walker plays music, phrases and comes with colorful light-up buttons, a bumblebee and a roller ball. And of course, it looks super cute with the elephant face!
It is surprisingly heavy for a plastic walker at 9 pounds, which makes it as heavy as some other wooden push carts and of course, safer.
Push Walkers We Also Considered
Besides the push toys above, we have also looked at these popular push along walkers below but decided not to include them in our list of recommendations for various reasons stated here.
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Chomp and Clack Alligator Wooden Push Toy and Activity Walker– there may be some safety concerns with the design as the “waves” have sharper edges that your child could accidentally fall onto. When a child is learning to stand up and walk, falling happens much too often.
Peradix Baby Walker Multifunctional Musical Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker– this is actually a decent walker but we feel that there are other similar walkers that are better. For one thing, the panel is not removable for tummy time use.
Cossy Wooden Baby Learning Walker Toddler– this is not a bad walker too but we just feel that there are other similar walkers that are better.
Hape Red Wonder Wagon Wooden Push and Pull Toddler Ride On– this may look similar to the Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon but it’s not. The handle is designed differently which makes it less safe for a younger child. Besides, its official recommendation is for ages 3+ years.
HABA Moover Baby Walker– Although this walker is high in quality, made from sustainable wood sources and was a winner of the 2010 Best Toy Award by the French Federation, we feel that this walker is not as great as other amazing walkers in this list. It is not as heavy as some other similar walkers and it has less entertainment value too, in our opinion.
Fisher-Price Learn with Me Zebra Walker– although this is a very popular and affordable walker, we don’t really recommend it as a good choice. Weighing only 1.1 pounds, we think that it is way too light and will topple over too easily if a child uses it to pull himself or herself up.
Fisher-Price Musical Lion Walker– this walker is also very affordable but it doesn’t have some other important features that other walkers have such as wheel resistance and a removable panel for separate play.
YBIKE Pewi Elite Bike Walking Ride On Toy– we REALLY wanted to be able to recommend this walker since it is the only decent aluminum walking toy with swivel wheels that we came across. Also, it is the winner of several awards including the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Best Toy award, Family Fun Toy Awards 2012 Toy of the Year and the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval 2011.
However, this walking toy has been known to become a serious trip hazard when used in a home that has both hardwood and carpet floors (or any sort of rug). If ridden too quickly across hardwood floors, and then across to a carpeted surface or a rug, the bike can stop or wheels jam suddenly. This has caused some young children to fall head first across the handles. So not recommended unless your child is not overly active or you really have a completely clean, smooth floor with no trip hazards! Impossible if you have a child, we think!
So now that we have provided you with a list of push walkers, what do we ultimately recommend?
Based on our analysis above, if you are looking for a push toy with the best value for money, we recommend the Gourmet Shop ‘n Cook Walker. You will get tons of play and value for the amount you pay.
If money is no issue and your top concern is safety, then we recommend the HABA Walk Along Tool Cart. We really like this walker as it is not only safe, an environmentally-conscious toy but also, so much fun!
So there it is. Let us know what you think and enjoy your child’s ‘learning to walk’ journey!